Should NGO Pay Zakat?
Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
The obligation to pay zakat is determined by the type of property owned. Zakat is not determined by the difference status of institution, such as foundation, limited liability company, limited partnership, mass organization, or socio political organization.
Zakat is paid according to certain condition which is had by the property. If the property has met the certain criteria, so we have an obligation to pay zakat. Conversely, if a property does not meet certain criteria, so we don’t have to pay zakat.
The moslem scholars (Ulama) have agreed on six conditions that must be held by a property :
1. The property was owned completely by someone.
If the property is owned by two or more persons, such as state-owned, it means that the property was not owned by someone completely. Each person who becomes citizen has the right to use the property but it was not perfect to be owned. He can not use the property entirely. So the property of this country, for whatever its worth, there is no obligation of zakat.
Pay Zakat is not required, if the property has been waqf by their owners. Although the waqf property is a companies with huge profits, but the status of waqf property ownership is in the hands of God
2. It has An-Nama quality
An-nama’ can mean as growth, productive or provide added value. Thousands of acres of vacant land that do not provide any income, do not have zakat obligation too. But when the land is tilled and it is become productive so other assets can grow up, then Zakat should be paid. Whether in the form of farming or leasing.
A house which is owner-occupied, or has been left, or loaned to relatives without rental cost is an unproductive assets, so it does not have zakat obligation. But when the house was leased and provide income to the owner, then there is an obligation of zakat.
3. The properties have been owned for one haul (qamariyah year).
4. The property has reached its nishab
5. Property owner has no obligation to pay debt immediately. Although someone has money 10 billion but he has owed 10 billion as well, roughly we say that he has no assets. Or we should say that the treasure was not his property but others, so it must be paid.
6. The owner of property has been able to finance itself and the basic standard of life needs.
Indeed, the NGO is not a profit oriented institution. NGOs could actually deserve Zakat. If the NGOs serve as an Institute Amil Zakat so the NGOs do not have to pay zakat. But there are also pure business NGOs. Although it has a government permission as an NGOs, but its practice is the trading partnership. So they should pay trading zakat.
Maybe in some areas there are NGOs that have a factory, farm, ranch, buying and selling businesses, which are profits and profits belong to their respective NGO founders or managers, it does not directly return to the people, so it goes to appropriate zakat of each. (Ahmad Sarwat, Lc/rumahfiqih.com)